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G.R. No. 182601. November 10, 2014.

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JOEY M. PESTILOS, DWIGHT MACAPANAS, MIGUEL
GACES, JERRY FERNANDEZ and RONALD MUÑOZ,
petitioners, vs. MORENO GENEROSO and PEOPLE OF
THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.

Remedial Law; Criminal Procedure; Arrests; Warrantless


Arrests; Probable Cause; Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules
of Criminal Procedure was further amended with the
incorporation of the word “probable cause” as the basis of the
arresting officer’s determination on whether the person to be
arrested has committed the crime.—Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the
1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure was further amended with the
incorporation of the word “probable cause” as the basis of the
arresting officer’s determination on whether the person to be
arrested has committed the crime. Hence, as presently worded,
Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure provides that: When an offense has just been
committed, and he has probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be
arrested has committed it.
Same; Same; Same; Same; As presently worded, the elements
under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure are: first, an offense has just been committed; and
second, the arresting officer has probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be
arrested has committed it.—From the current phraseology of the
rules on warrantless arrest, it appears that for purposes of
Section 5(b), the following are the notable changes: first, the
contemplated offense was qualified by the word “just,” connoting
immediacy; and second, the warrantless arrest of a person sought
to be arrested should be based on probable cause to be determined
by the arresting officer based on his personal knowledge of
facts and circumstances that the person to be arrested has
committed it. It is clear that the present rules have ‘‘objectified”
the previously subjective determination of the arresting officer as
to the (1) commission of the

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*  SECOND DIVISION.
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Pestilos vs. Generoso

crime; and (2) whether the person sought to be arrested


committed the crime. According to Feria, these changes were
adopted to minimize arrests based on mere suspicion or hearsay.
As presently worded, the elements under Section 5(b), Rule 113
of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure are: first, an offense
has just been committed; and second, the arresting officer has
probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it.
Same; Same; Same; Same; In determining the existence of
probable cause, the arresting officer should make a thorough
investigation and exercise reasonable judgment.—In determining
the existence of probable cause, the arresting officer should make
a thorough investigation and exercise reasonable judgment. The
standards for evaluating the factual basis supporting a
probable cause assessment are not less stringent in
warrantless arrest situation than in a case where a
warrant is sought from a judicial officer. The probable cause
determination of a warrantless arrest is based on information
that the arresting officer possesses at the time of the arrest and
not on the information acquired later. In evaluating probable
cause, probability and not certainty is the determinant of
reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment. Probable cause
involves probabilities similar to the factual and practical
questions of everyday life upon which reasonable and prudent
persons act. It is a pragmatic question to be determined in
each case in light of the particular circumstances and the
particular offense involved.
Same; Same; Preliminary Investigations; The purpose of a
preliminary investigation is to determine whether a crime has been
committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the
accused is guilty of the crime and should be held for trial.—The
purpose of a preliminary investigation is to determine
whether a crime has been committed and whether there is
probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty of the
crime and should be held for trial. In Buchanan v. Viuda de
Esteban, 32 Phil. 363 (1915), we defined probable cause as the
existence of facts and circumstances as would excite the belief in
a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the
knowledge of the prosecutor, that the person charged was
guilty of the crime for which he was prosecuted.
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Same; Same; Probable Cause; Warrant of Arrest; Before


issuing a warrant of arrest, the judge must be satisfied that based
on the evidence submitted, there is sufficient proof that a crime has
been committed and that the person to be arrested is probably
guilty thereof.—Hence, before issuing a warrant of arrest, the
judge must be satisfied that based on the evidence
submitted, there is sufficient proof that a crime has been
committed and that the person to be arrested is probably
guilty thereof. At this stage of the criminal proceeding, the
judge is not yet tasked to review in detail the evidence submitted
during the preliminary investigation. It is sufficient that he
personally evaluates the evidence in determining probable cause
to issue a warrant of arrest.
Same; Same; Same; Arrests; Warrantless Arrests; The
arresting officer’s determination of probable cause under Section
5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is based
on his personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the
person sought to be arrested has committed the crime.—In
contrast, the arresting officer’s determination of probable
cause under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure is based on his personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances that the person sought to be arrested has
committed the crime. These facts or circumstances pertain to
actual facts or raw evidence, i.e., supported by circumstances
sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of
guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion
therefore must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good
faith on the part of the peace officers making the arrest.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Under the present rules and
jurisprudence, the arresting officer should base his determination
of probable cause on his personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances that the person sought to be arrested has committed
the crime; the public prosecutor and the judge must base their
determination on the evidence submitted by the parties.—It is clear
therefore that the standard for determining “probable cause” is
invariable for the officer arresting without a warrant, the public
prosecutor, and the judge issuing a warrant of arrest. It is the
existence of such facts and circumstances that would lead
a reasonably discreet and prudent person to believe that
an offense has been committed by the person sought to be
arrested or held for trial, as the case may be. However, while
the arresting officer, the public

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prosecutor and the judge all determine “probable cause,”


within the spheres of their respective functions, its existence is
influenced heavily by the available facts and circumstance within
their possession. In short, although these officers use the same
standard of a reasonable man, they possess dissimilar
quantity of facts or circumstances, as set by the rules, upon
which they must determine probable cause. Thus, under the
present rules and jurisprudence, the arresting officer should base
his determination of probable cause on his personal knowledge of
facts and circumstances that the person sought to be arrested has
committed the crime; the public prosecutor and the judge must
base their determination on the evidence submitted by the
parties. In other words, the arresting officer operates on the basis
of more limited facts, evidence or available information that he
must personally gather within a limited time frame.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; The Supreme Court (SC)
holds that the following must be present for a valid warrantless
arrest: 1) the crime should have been just committed; and 2) the
arresting officer’s exercise of discretion is limited by the standard
of probable cause to be determined from the facts and
circumstances within his personal knowledge.—The clincher in
the element of “personal knowledge of facts or circumstances” is
the required element of immediacy within which these facts or
circumstances should be gathered. This required time element
acts as a safeguard to ensure that the police officers have
gathered the facts or perceived the circumstances within a very
limited time frame. This guarantees that the police officers would
have no time to base their probable cause finding on facts or
circumstances obtained after an exhaustive investigation. The
reason for the element of the immediacy is this — as the time gap
from the commission of the crime to the arrest widens, the pieces
of information gathered are prone to become contaminated and
subjected to external factors, interpretations and hearsay. On the
other hand, with the element of immediacy imposed under Section
5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the
police officer’s determination of probable cause would necessarily
be limited to raw or uncontaminated facts or circumstances,
gathered as they were within a very limited period of time. The
same provision adds another safeguard with the requirement of
probable cause as the standard for evaluating these facts of
circumstances before the police officer could effect a valid
warrantless arrest. In light of the discussion above on the
developments of Sec-

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tion 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal


Procedure and our jurisprudence on the matter, we hold that the
following must be present for a valid warrantless arrest: 1) the
crime should have been just committed; and 2) the arresting
officer’s exercise of discretion is limited by the standard of
probable cause to be determined from the facts and circumstances
within his personal knowledge. The requirement of the existence
of probable cause objectifies the reasonableness of the
warrantless arrest for purposes of compliance with the
Constitutional mandate against unreasonable arrests.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; With these facts and
circumstances that the police officers gathered and which they
have personally observed less than one hour from the time that
they have arrived at the scene of the crime until the time of the
arrest of the petitioners, we deem it reasonable to conclude that the
police officers had personal knowledge of facts or circumstances
justifying the petitioners’ warrantless arrests.—To summarize, the
arresting officers went to the scene of the crime upon the
complaint of Atty. Generoso of his alleged mauling; the police
officers responded to the scene of the crime less than one (1)
hour after the alleged mauling; the alleged crime transpired in a
community where Atty. Generoso and the petitioners reside; Atty.
Generoso positively identified the petitioners as those responsible
for his mauling and, notably, the petitioners and Atty. Generoso
lived almost in the same neighborhood; more importantly, when
the petitioners were confronted by the arresting officers, they did
not deny their participation in the incident with Atty. Generoso,
although they narrated a different version of what transpired.
With these facts and circumstances that the police officers
gathered and which they have personally observed less than one
hour from the time that they have arrived at the scene of the
crime until the time of the arrest of the petitioners, we deem it
reasonable to conclude that the police officers had personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances justifying the petitioners’
warrantless arrests. These circumstances were well within then
police officers’ observation, perception and evaluation at the time
of the arrest. These circumstances qualify as the police officers’
personal observation, which are within their personal
knowledge, prompting them to make the warrantless arrests.

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Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; It is enough that evidence of


the recent commission of the crime is patent (as in this case) and
the police officer has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be arrested
has recently committed the crime.—To reiterate, personal
knowledge of a crime just committed under the terms of the above
cited provision, does not require actual presence at the scene
while a crime was being committed; it is enough that evidence of
the recent commission of the crime is patent (as in this case) and
the police officer has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be
arrested has recently committed the crime. Considering the
circumstances of the stabbing, particularly the locality where it
took place, its occasion, the personal circumstances of the parties,
and the immediate on-the-spot investigation that took place, the
immediate and warrantless arrests of the perpetrators were
proper. Consequently, the inquest proceeding that the City
Prosecutor conducted was appropriate under the circumstances.
Same; Same; Judgments; No less than the Constitution itself
provides that it is the decision that should state clearly and
distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. In resolving a
motion, the court is only required to state clearly and distinctly the
reasons therefor.—We do not see any taint of impropriety or grave
abuse of discretion in this Order. The RTC, in resolving the
motion, is not required to state all the facts found in the record of
the case. Detailed evidentiary matters, as the RTC decreed, is
best reserved for the full-blown trial of the case, not in the
preliminary incidents leading up to the trial. Additionally, no less
than the Constitution itself provides that it is the decision that
should state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on
which it is based. In resolving a motion, the court is only
required to state clearly and distinctly the reasons therefor. A
contrary system would only prolong the proceedings, which was
precisely what happened to this case. Hence, we uphold the
validity of the RTC’s order as it correctly stated the reason for its
denial of the petitioners’ Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary
Investigation.
Leonen, J., Dissenting Opinion:

Constitutional Law; Criminal Procedure; Illegal Searches and


Seizures; View that the right of a person to his or her liberties in
the

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form of protections against unreasonable searches and


seizures enjoys a high degree of protection.—I vote that the
petition be granted. Petitioners are entitled to a preliminary
investigation because the warrantless arrest was not valid. The
right of a person to his or her liberties in the form of protections
against unreasonable searches and seizures enjoys a high degree
of protection. The Constitution only allows for reasonable
searches and seizures. As a general rule, courts decide whether
there is probable cause to issue a search warrant or warrant of
arrest.
Same; Same; Warrantless Arrests; View that the elements of a
valid warrantless arrest under Rule 113, Section 5(b) are the
following: (1) the offense has just been committed; (2) the arresting
officer has personal knowledge of facts or circumstances; and (3)
these facts and circumstances give rise to probable cause that the
person to be arrested has committed the offense.—The elements of
a valid warrantless arrest under Rule 113, Section 5(b) are the
following: (1) the offense has just been committed; (2) the
arresting officer has personal knowledge of facts or circumstances;
and (3) these facts and circumstances give rise to probable cause
that the person to be arrested has committed the offense.
Same; Same; Same; View that to ensure that the right person
can be put within the jurisdiction of a court, the rules allow a
valid warrantless arrest.—The element that the offense had “just
been committed” was introduced in the 1985 revision of the Rules
of Criminal Procedure. This element must be read in relation to
the general requirement that a warrant of arrest must be
procured to ensure a more impartial determination of the
existence of facts and circumstances. This element, however,
acknowledges the necessities of law enforcement. At times, the
police officer arrives at the scene of the crime after the crime just
happened and there are facts and circumstances — such as the
sudden flight of a person or the wielding of a weapon by a person
near the incident — that reasonably lead the police officer to
believe that the person is the perpetrator. In such cases, to ensure
that the right person can be put within the jurisdiction of a court,
the rules allow a valid warrantless arrest. This necessity is
wanting in this case. Petitioners themselves, together with a
barangay tanod, voluntarily went to the police station. They did
so after they had gone to the barangay hall to report the incident
and had their own complaints entered into the barangay

 
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blotter. There was no urgency to arrest petitioners. They were


not planning to flee. They voluntarily presented themselves as
complainants against private respondent. For reasons not clear in
the record, they were subjected to a warrantless arrest and then
to inquest. Private respondent, on the other hand, was allowed to
be a respondent in a preliminary investigation. He was not
arrested.
Same; Same; Same; View that the arresting officers must
obtain personal knowledge of the facts and circumstances that lead
to the conclusion that an offense has just been committed.—The
arresting officers must obtain personal knowledge of the facts and
circumstances that lead to the conclusion that an offense has just
been committed. They must also perceive facts and circumstances
that would substantiate the probable liability of the person. The
accused is usually identified when he or she is seen fleeing the
scene because the act of fleeing suggests the attempt to evade
authority. A person in possession of a weapon could also be
perceived as the one liable for an offense.
Same; Same; Same; View that in People v. Cogaed, 731 SCRA
427 (2014), the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that for there to be a
“genuine reason” to execute a warrantless arrest or search, there
should be more than one suspicious circumstance to infer that
there was criminal activity.—The plurality in the phrasing
suggests that there should be more than one fact or circumstance.
In People v. Cogaed, 731 SCRA 427 (2014), we ruled that for there
to be a “genuine reason” to execute a warrantless arrest or search,
there should be more than one suspicious circumstance to infer
that there was criminal activity. In most cases that found the
validity of the warrantless arrest, there was the presence of more
than one circumstance that formed part of the personal
knowledge of the police officers.
Same; Same; Same; View that if there is no personal
knowledge of facts and circumstances on the part of the police
officers, a warrantless arrest under Rule 113, Section 5(b) will be
unreasonable because there is nothing to base probable cause on
that the accused committed the offense.—Flight of the accused is
often a sign that there is probable cause that he or she committed
the offense. When he or she attempts to escape from authorities,
the authorities must act immediately because not doing so might
compromise the investigation. If there is no personal knowledge of
facts and circumstances on the part of the police officers, a
warrantless arrest under Rule

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113, Section 5(b) will be unreasonable because there is


nothing to base probable cause on that the accused committed the
offense.
Remedial Law; Criminal Law; Constitutional Law;
Preliminary Investigation; View that with the absence of a valid
warrantless arrest, petitioners are entitled to preliminary
investigation.—With the absence of a valid warrantless arrest,
petitioners are entitled to preliminary investigation. Preliminary
investigation is “an inquiry or a proceeding the purpose of which
is to determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a
well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the
respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for
trial.” The right to preliminary investigation is statutory in
character. Being mandated by statute, a preliminary
investigation becomes part of the constitutional due process rights
accorded to the accused.
Same; Same; Same; Same; View that under Rule 112 of the
Rules of Court, a preliminary investigation is required if an
offense has a penalty of at least four (4) years, two (2) months, and
one (1) day. However, under Section 6 of the same rules, a
preliminary investigation is no longer necessary if the person
accused was arrested lawfully without a warrant.—Under Rule
112, a preliminary investigation is required if an offense has a
penalty of at least four (4) years, two (2) months, and one (1) day.
However, under Section 6 of the same rules, a preliminary
investigation is no longer necessary if the person accused was
arrested lawfully without a warrant. If there was a valid
warrantless arrest under Rule 113, Section 5, inquest proceedings
are required.
Same; Same; Same; Same; View that based on the Manual for
Prosecutors, inquests are conducted by a public prosecutor
assigned as an Inquest Officer.—Based on the Manual for
Prosecutors, inquests are conducted by a public prosecutor
assigned as an Inquest Officer. An inquest is conducted only at
the police stations or headquarters of the Philippine National
Police, unless otherwise directed. Here, petitioners alleged that
they were brought from Batasan Hills Police Station to the Office
of the Prosecutor. At the Office of the Prosecutor, it was decided
that petitioners would be subjected to inquest, while respondent
would undergo preliminary investigation. This irregularly
conducted inquest aggravates the fact that petitioners were
subjected to an inquest despite lack of a valid warrantless arrest.

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PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and


resolution of the Court of Appeals.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
  D. Dimayac Law Firm for petitioners.

 
BRION, J.:
 
We resolve the petition for review on certiorari under
Rule 45 of the Rules of Court challenging the decision1
dated January 21, 2008 and the resolution2 dated April 17,
2008 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in C.A.G.R. S.P. No.
91541.
The appealed decision affirmed the Order dated March
16, 2005 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 96,
Quezon City, denying Joey M. Pestilos, Dwight Macapanas,
Miguel Gaces, Jerry Fernandez, and Ronald Muñoz’s
(petitioners) Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary
Investigation, as well as their subsequent motion for
reconsideration.
 
The Antecedent Facts
 
The records of the case reveal that on February 20,
2005, at around 3:15 in the morning, an altercation ensued
between the petitioners and Atty. Moreno Generoso (Atty.
Generoso) at Kasiyahan Street, Barangay Holy Spirit,
Quezon City where the petitioners and Atty. Generoso
reside.3
Atty. Generoso called the Central Police District, Station
6 (Batasan Hills Police Station) to report the incident.4
Acting

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1  Penned by Associate Justice Sesinando E. Villon, and concurred in by


Associate Justices Martin S. Villarama, Jr. (now a member of this Court)
and Noel G. Tijam; Rollo, pp. 36-46.
2  Id., at p. 48.
3  According to the Certification of the Batasan Hills Police Station as
regards the excerpt of the PNP Complaint at PNP Complaint Volume 19,
Series of 2005, Entry No. 324, Page No. 250; RTC records, attached to the
CA records, p. 72.
4   Id., at p. 5.

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on this report, Desk Officer SPO1 Primitivo Monsalve


(SPO1 Monsalve) dispatched SPO2 Dominador Javier
(SPO2 Javier) to go to the scene of the crime and to render
assistance.5 SPO2 Javier, together with augmentation
personnel from the Airforce, A2C Alano Sayson and
Airman Ruel Galvez, arrived at the scene of the crime less
than one hour after the alleged altercation6 and they saw
Atty. Generoso badly beaten.7
Atty. Generoso then pointed to the petitioners as those
who mauled him. This prompted the police officers to
“invite” the petitioners to go to Batasan Hills Police Station
for investigation.8
The petitioners went with the police officers to Batasan
Hills Police Station.9 At the inquest proceeding, the City
Prosecutor of Quezon City found that the petitioners
stabbed Atty. Generoso with a bladed weapon. Atty.
Generoso fortunately survived the attack.10
In an Information dated February 22, 2005, the
petitioners were indicted for attempted murder allegedly
committed as follows:

That on or about the 20th day of February, 2005, in Quezon


City, Philippines, the said accused, conspiring together,
confederating with and mutually helping one another, with intent
to kill, qualified with evident premeditation, treachery and taking
advantage of superior strength, did then and there, willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously commence the commission of the crime
of Murder directly by overt acts, by then and there stabbing one
Atty. MORENO GENEROSO y FRANCO, with a bladed weapon,
but said accused were not able to perform all the

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5   Affidavit of Arrest, id., at p. 6.


6   Supra note 3.
7   Rollo, p. 37.
8   RTC Records, p. 6.
9   Rollo, p. 75.
10  Id., at p. 37.
9   Rollo, p. 75.
10  Id., at p. 37.

 
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acts of execution which would produce the crime of Murder by


reason of some cause/s or accident other than their own
spontaneous desistance, that is, said complainant was able to
parry the attack, to his damage and prejudice.
CONTRARY TO LAW.11

 
On March 7, 2005, the petitioners filed an Urgent
Motion for Regular Preliminary Investigation12 on the
ground that they had not been lawfully arrested. They
alleged that no valid warrantless arrest took place since
the police officers had no personal knowledge that they
were the perpetrators of the crime. They also claimed that
they were just “invited” to the police station. Thus, the
inquest proceeding was improper, and a regular procedure
for preliminary investigation should have been performed
pursuant to Rule 112 of the Rules of Court.13
On March 16, 2005, the RTC issued its order denying
the petitioners’ Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary
Investigation.14 The court likewise denied the petitioners’
motion for reconsideration.15

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11  Id.
12  Id.
13  Id., at pp. 37-38.
14  The pertinent matters state:
Considering the opposition and issues raised by the prosecution, the
Court is not persuaded by the evidentiary nature of the allegations in the
said motion of the accused. Aside from lack of clear and convincing proof,
the Court, in the exercise of its sound discretion on the matter, is legally
bound to pursue and hereby gives preference to the speedy disposition of
the case.
ACCORDINGLY, the Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary
Investigation filed by the accused is DENIED.
15  Rollo, p. 38.

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The petitioners challenged the lower court’s ruling


before the CA on a Rule 65 petition for certiorari. They
attributed grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction, on the RTC for the denial of their
motion for preliminary investigation.16
 
The Assailed CA’s Decision
 
On January 21, 2008, the CA issued its decision
dismissing the petition for lack of merit.17 The CA ruled
that the word “invited” in the Affidavit of Arrest executed
by SPO2 Javier carried the meaning of a command. The
arresting officer clearly meant to arrest the petitioners to
answer for the mauling of Atty. Generoso. The CA also
recognized that the arrest was pursuant to a valid
warrantless arrest so that an inquest proceeding was called
for as a consequence. Thus, the RTC did not commit any
grave abuse of discretion in denying the Urgent Motion for
Regular Preliminary Investigation.
The CA saw no merit in the petitioners’ argument that
the order denying the Urgent Motion for Regular
Preliminary Investigation is void for failure to clearly state
the facts and the law upon which it was based, pursuant to
Rule 16, Section 3 of the Revised Rules of Court. The CA
found that the RTC had sufficiently explained the grounds
for the denial of the motion.
The petitioners moved for reconsideration, but the CA
denied the motion in its Resolution of April 17, 2008;18
hence, the present petition.
 
The Issues
 
The petitioners cited the following assignment of errors:

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16  Id.
17  Supra note 1.
18  Supra note 2.

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I.
WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE VALIDLY
ARRESTED WITHOUT A WARRANT.
 
II.
WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE LAWFULLY
ARRESTED WHEN THEY WERE MERELY INVITED TO THE
POLICE PRECINCT.
 
III.
WHETHER OR NOT THE ORDER DENYING THE MOTION
FOR PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION IS VOID FOR FAILURE
TO STATE THE FACTS AND THE LAW UPON WHICH IT WAS
BASED.

 
The petitioners primarily argue that they were not
lawfully arrested. No arrest warrant was ever issued; they
went to the police station only as a response to the
arresting officers’ invitation. They even cited the Affidavit
of Arrest, which actually used the word “invited.”
The petitioners also claim that no valid warrantless
arrest took place under the terms of Rule 112, Section 7 of
the Revised Rules of Court. The incident happened two (2)
hours before the police officers actually arrived at the crime
scene. The police officers could not have undertaken a valid
warrantless arrest as they had no personal knowledge that
the petitioners were the authors of the crime.
The petitioners additionally argue that the RTC’s Order
denying the Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary
Investigation is void because it was not properly issued.
 
The Court’s Ruling
 
We find the petition unmeritorious and thus
uphold the RTC Order. The criminal proceedings
against the petitioners should now proceed.
 
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It is unfortunate that the kind of motion that the


petitioners filed has to reach this Court for its resolution.
The thought is very tempting that the motion was
employed simply to delay the proceedings and that the use
of Rule 65 petition has been abused.
But accepting things as they are, this delay can be more
than compensated by fully examining in this case the
legalities surrounding warrantless warrants and
establishing the proper interpretation of the Rules for the
guidance of the bench and the bar. These Rules have
evolved over time, and the present case presents to us the
opportunity to retrace their origins, development and the
current applicable interpretation.
 
I. Brief history on warrantless arrests
 
The organic laws of the Philippines, specifically, the
Philippine Bill of 1902,19 and the 1935,20 197321 and

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19  Section 5 of The Philippine Bill of 1902. That no warrant shall issue


but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things
to be seized.
20   Section 1(3), Article III – The right of the people to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches
and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon
probable cause, to be determined by the judge after examination under
oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce,
and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or
things to be seized.
21  Section 3, Article IV – The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures of whatever nature and whatever purpose shall not be violated,
and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon
probable cause to be determined by the judge, or such other responsible
officer as may be authorized by law, after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and

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352 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


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198722 Constitutions all protect the right of the people to


be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches
and seizures. Arrest falls under the term “seizure.”23
This constitutional mandate is identical with the Fourth
Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The
Fourth Amendment traces its origins to the writings of Sir
Edward Coke24 and The Great Charter of the Liberties of
England (Magna Carta Libertatum), sealed under oath by
King John on the bank of the River Thames near Windsor,
England on June 15, 1215.25 The Magna Carta Libertatum
limited the King of England’s powers and required the
Crown to proclaim certain liberties26 under the feudal
vassals’ threat of civil war.27 The declarations in Chapter
29 of the Magna Carta Libertatum later became the
foundational component of the Fourth Amendment of the
United States Constitution.28 It provides:

_______________

the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to


be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
22  Section 2, Article III – The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and
no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable
cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under
oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce,
and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or
things to be seized.
23   Finkelman, Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties, p. 82, 2006
ed.
24  Entitled The Institutes of the Lawes of England, cited generally by
Thomas Y. Davies, Correcting Search-and-Seizure History: Now Forgotten
Common-Law Warrantless Arrest Standards and the Original Meaning of
Due Process, University of Tennessee College of Law Legal Studies
Research Paper Series, April 23, 2008.
25  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna Carta, last accessed October 10,
2014.
26  Id.
27  Thomas Y. Davies, supra note 24.
28  Id., at p. 45.

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No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseised29 of


his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or
exiled, or any otherwise destroyed; nor will we not pass upon him,
nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by
the Law of the Land, We will sell to no man, we will not deny or
defer to any man either Justice or Right.30 [Emphasis supplied]

 
In United States v. Snyder,31 the United States Supreme
Court held that this constitutional provision does not
prohibit arrests, searches and seizures without judicial
warrant, but only those that are unreasonable.32 With
regard to an arrest, it is considered a seizure, which must
also satisfy the test of reasonableness. 33
In our jurisdiction, early rulings of the Court have
acknowledged the validity of warrantless arrests. The
Court based these rulings on the common law of America
and England that, according to the Court, were not
different from the Spanish laws.34 These court rulings
likewise justified warrantless arrests based on the
provisions of separate laws then existing in the
Philippines.35
In 1905, the Court held in The United States v. Wilson36
that Section 3737 of Act No. 183, or the Charter of Manila,

_______________

29  Wrongfully dispossessed.
30  Supra note 27.
31  278 Fed. 650.
32  People v. Malasugui, No. L-44335, 63 Phil. 221, 226 (1936).
33  Supra note 23.
34  The United States v. Santos, 36 Phil. 853, 856 (1917).
35  The United States v. Fortaleza, 12 Phil. 472, 474-480 (1909).
36  4 Phil. 317, 323-324 (1905).
37  In The United States v. Fortaleza, the Court cited Section 37 ctf Act
No. 183 (Charter of Manila), which designates certain officials, including
police officers, as “peace officers” expressly provides that within the
territory defined in the Act they “may pursue and arrest without warrant,
any person found in suspicious places or under suspicious circumstances,
reasonably tending to show that
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354 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


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defined the arresting officer’s power to arrest without a


warrant, at least insofar as the City of Manila was
concerned.
In The United States v. Vallejo, et al.,38 the Court held
that in the absence of any provisions under statutes or local
ordinances, a police officer who held similar functions as
those of the officers established under the common law of
England and America, also had the power to arrest without
a warrant in the Philippines.
The Court also ruled in The United States v. Santos39
that the rules on warrantless arrest were based on common
sense and reason.40 It further held that warrantless arrest
found support under the then Administrative Code41 which
directed municipal policemen to exercise vigilance in the
prevention of public offenses.
In The United States v. Fortaleza,42 the Court applied
Rules 27, 28, 29 and 3043 of the Provisional Law for the
Application

_______________

such person has committed, or is about to commit any crime or breach


of the peace; may arrest, or cause to be arrested without warrant, any
offender, when the offense is committed in the presence of a peace officer
or within his view.”
38  11 Phil. 193, 197 (1908).
39  Supra note 34 at p. 856.
40   Id. Citizens must be protected from annoyance and crime.
Prevention of crime is just as commendatory as the capture of criminals
and the officer should not wait the commission of the crime. This rule is
supported by the necessities of life.
41  Sec. 2204, 1916 ed.; Sec. 2258, 1917 ed.
42  Supra note 35 at pp. 477-479.
43  Section 37. (a) If the number of barrios in a municipality is less
than or equal to the number of councilors the council shall put each of its
members in immediate charge of a barrio or part of a barrio, so that each
barrio shall be under the direction of one or more councilors.
(b) If the number of barrios exceeds the number of councilors,
including the vice president, the council shall group the barrios into as
many districts as there are councilors, and shall place each councilor in
charge of one such district. Each councilor shall be empow
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of the Penal Code which were provisions taken from the


Spanish Law.
These rules were subsequently established and
incorporated in our Rules of Court and jurisprudence.
Presently, the requirements of a warrantless arrest are
now summarized in Rule 113, Section 5 which states that:

Section 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful.—A peace officer


or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an
offense;
(b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has
probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it;
and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has
escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving
final judgment or

_______________

ered to appoint one lieutenant in each barrio or part of barrio which


comes under his immediate supervision. A lieutenant of barrio shall serve
without compensation and shall report directly to the councilor appointing
him.
Sec. 38. (a) Each councilor shall keep the people of his barrio or
barrios informed as to the acts of the council, or other governmental
measures which directly concern them, by means of suitable notices
posted in a public and conspicuous place in each barrio. He shall serve in
the council as the representative of the people of his barrio or barrios and
shall bring their special needs to the attention of that body.
(b) He shall further promptly inform the president of any unusual or
untoward event occurring within the barrios assigned to him.
(c) He is authorized to use as a symbol of office a cane with silver
head, plated ferule and black cord and tassels.

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356 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso
is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped
while being transferred from one confinement to another.
In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the person
arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the
nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in
accordance with Section 7 of Rule 112.

 
A warrantless arrest under the circumstances
contemplated under Section 5(a) above has been
denominated as one “in flagrante delicto,” while that under
Section 5(b) has been described as a “hot pursuit” arrest.44
For purposes of this case, we shall focus on Section 5(b)
— the provision applicable in the present case. This
provision has undergone changes through the years not
just in its phraseology but also in its interpretation in our
jurisprudence.
We shall first trace the evolution of Section 5(b) and
examine the applicable American and Philippine
jurisprudence to fully understand its roots and its
appropriate present application.
 
II. Evolution of Section 5(b), Rule 113
 
A. Prior to the 1940 Rules of Court
 
Prior to 1940, the Court based its rulings not just on
American and English common law principle on
warrantless arrests but also on laws then existing in the
Philippines. In Fortaleza,45 the Court cited Rule 28 of the
Provisional Law for the Application of the Penal Code
which provided that:

_______________

44  Malacat v. Court of Appeals, 347 Phil. 462, 479; 283 SCRA 159, 174
(1997).
45  Supra note 35 at pp. 477-478.

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Judicial and administrative authorities have power to detain, or


to cause to be detained, persons whom there is reasonable
ground to believe guilty of some offense. It will be the duty of
the authorities, as well as of their agents, to arrest:
First. Such persons as may be arrested under the provisions of
Rule 27.
Second. A person charged with a crime for which the code
provides a penalty greater than that of confinamiento.
Third. A person charged with a crime for which the code
provides a penalty less than that of confinamiento, if his
antecedents or the circumstances of the case would warrant the
presumption that he would fail to appear when summoned by the
judicial authorities.
The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not apply,
however, to a defendant who gives sufficient bond, to the
satisfaction of the authority or agent who may arrest him, and
who it may reasonably be presumed will appear whenever
summoned by the judge or court competent to try him.
Fourth. A person coining under the provisions of the
preceding paragraph may be arrested, although no formal
complaint has been filed against him, provided the
following circumstances are present:
First. That the authority or agent had reasonable cause
to believe that an unlawful act, amounting to a crime had
been committed.
Second. That the authority or agent had sufficient
reason to believe that the person arrested participated in
the commission of such unlawful act or crime. [Emphasis
and underscoring supplied]

 
In the same decision, the Court likewise cited Section 37
of the Charter of Manila, which provided that certain
officials, including police officers may, within the
territory defined in the law, pursue and arrest
without warrant, any
 
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358 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

person found in suspicious places or under


suspicious circumstances, reasonably tending to
show that such person has committed, or is about to
commit any crime or breach of the peace.
In Santos,46 the Court cited Miles v. Weston,47 which
ruled that a peace officer may arrest persons walking in
the street at night when there is reasonable ground to
suspect the commission of a crime, although there is
no proof of a felony having been committed.
The Court ruled in Santos that the arresting officer
must justify that there was a probable cause for an
arrest without a warrant. The Court defined probable
cause as a reasonable ground of suspicion, supported by
circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves as to
warrant a reasonable man in believing that the accused is
guilty. Besides reasonable ground of suspicion, action in
good faith is another requirement. Once these conditions
are complied with, the peace officer is not liable even if the
arrested person turned out to be innocent.
Based on these discussions, it appears clear that prior to
the 1940 Rules of Court, it was not necessary for the
arresting officer to first have knowledge that a crime was
actually committed. What was necessary was the presence
of reasonably sufficient grounds to believe the existence of
an act having the characteristics of a crime; and that the
same grounds exist to believe that the person sought to be
detained participated in it. In addition, it was also
established under the old court rulings that the phrase
“reasonable suspicion” was tantamount to probable cause
without which, the warrantless arrest would be invalid and
the arresting officer may be held liable for its breach.48

_______________

46  Supra note 34 at p. 856.


47  60 Ill. 361 (1871).
48  Supra note 34 at pp. 854-855.

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In The U.S. v. Hachaw,49 the Court invalidated the


warrantless arrest of a Chinaman because the arresting
person did not state in what way the Chinaman was acting
suspiciously or the particular act or circumstance which
aroused the arresting person’s curiosity.
It appears, therefore, that prior to the establishment
in our Rules of Court of the rules on warrantless
arrests, the gauge for a valid warrantless arrest was the
arresting officer’s reasonable suspicion (probable cause)
that a crime was committed and the person sought to be
arrested has participated in its commission. This principle
left so much discretion and leeway on the part of the
arresting officer. However, the 1940 Rules of Court has
limited this discretion.
 
B. The 1940 Rules of Court (Restricting the
arresting officer’s determination of probable cause)
 
Rules 27 and 28 of the Provisional Law for the
Application of the Penal Code were substantially
incorporated in Section 6, Rule 109 of the 1940 Rules of
Court as follows:50

SEC. 6. Arrest without warrant — When lawful.—A peace


officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
person:
(a) When the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is about to commit an offense in his presence;
(b) When an offense has in fact been committed, and he
has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be
arrested has committed it;

_______________

49  No. L-6909, 21 Phil. 514, 516 (1912).


50   Resolution of Motion for Reconsideration in Sayo v. The Chief of
Police, 80 Phil. 859, 875 (1948).

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360 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


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(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped


from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final
judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or
has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to
another. [Emphasis and underscoring supplied]

 
These provisions were adopted in toto in Section 6,
Rule 113 of the 1964 Rules of Court.
Notably, the 1940 and 1964 Rules have deviated from
the old rulings of the Court. Prior to the 1940 Rules, the
actual commission of the offense was not necessary in
determining the validity of the warrantless arrest. Too, the
arresting officer’s determination of probable cause (or
reasonable suspicion) applied both as to whether a
crime has been committed and whether the person
to be arrested has committed it.
However, under the 1940 and the 1964 Rules of Court,
the Rules required that there should be actual
commission of an offense, thus, removing the
element of the arresting officer’s “reasonable
suspicion of the commission of an offense.”
Additionally, the determination of probable cause, or
reasonable suspicion, was limited only to the determination
of whether the person to be arrested has committed the
offense. In other words, the 1940 and 1964 Rules of Court
restricted the arresting officer’s discretion in warrantless
arrests under Section 6(b), Rule 113 of the 1964 Rules of
Court.
 
C. The more restrictive 1985 Rules of Criminal
Procedure
 
Section 6, Rule 113 of the 1964 Rules of Court again
underwent substantial changes and was reworded and
renumbered when it became Section 5, Rule 113 of the
1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, to wit:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful.—A peace


officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
person:

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(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has


committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an
offense;
 
(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and
he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the
person to be arrested has committed it; and
 
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped
from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final
judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or
has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to
another.
 
In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, the person
arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the
nearest police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded against in
accordance with Rule 112, Section 7. [Emphasis and underscoring
supplied]
 
As amended, Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of
Court retained the restrictions introduced under the 1964
Rules of Court. More importantly, however, it added a
qualification that the commission of the offense should not
only have been “committed” but should have been “just
committed.” This limited the arresting officer’s time
frame for conducting an investigation for purposes of
gathering information indicating that the person sought to
be arrested has committed the crime.
 
 
D. The Present Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure
 
Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal
Procedure was further amended with the incorporation of
the word “probable cause” as the basis of the arresting
officer’s determination on whether the person to be
arrested has committed the crime.
Hence, as presently worded, Section 5(b), Rule 113 of
the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that:
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362 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

When an offense has just been committed, and he has probable


cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it.

 
From the current phraseology of the rules on
warrantless arrest, it appears that for purposes of Section
5(b), the following are the notable changes: first, the
contemplated offense was qualified by the word “just,”
connoting immediacy; and second, the warrantless arrest
of a person sought to be arrested should be based on
probable cause to be determined by the arresting officer
based on his personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances that the person to be arrested has
committed it.
It is clear that the present rules have ‘‘objectified” the
previously subjective determination of the arresting officer
as to the (1) commission of the crime; and (2) whether the
person sought to be arrested committed the crime.
According to Feria, these changes were adopted to
minimize arrests based on mere suspicion or hearsay.51
As presently worded, the elements under Section 5(b),
Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure are:
first, an offense has just been committed; and second, the
arresting officer has probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the
person to be arrested has committed it.
For purposes of this case, we shall discuss these
elements separately below, starting with the element of
probable cause, followed by the elements that the offense
has just been committed, and the arresting officer’s
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the
person to be arrested has committed the crime.

_______________

51   Herrera, Oscar M., Remedial Law, Book IV, 2007 edition, citing
Feria, Philippine Legal Studies, Series No. 2, p. 375.

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i) First Element of Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the


Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure: Probable cause
 
The existence of ‘‘probable cause” is now the “objectifier”
or the determinant on how the arresting officer shall
proceed on the facts and circumstances, within his personal
knowledge, for purposes of determining whether the person
to be arrested has committed the crime.
 
i.a) U.S. jurisprudence on probable cause in
warrantless arrests
 
In Payton v. New York,52 the U.S. Supreme Court held
that the Fourth Amendment of the Federal Constitution
does not prohibit arrests without a warrant although such
arrests must be reasonable. According to State v. Quinn,53
the warrantless arrest of a person who was discovered in
the act of violating the law is not a violation of due process.
The U.S. Supreme Court, however indicated in Henry v.
United States54 that the Fourth Amendment limited the
circumstances under which warrantless arrests may be
made. The necessary inquiry is not whether there
was a warrant or whether there was time to get one,
but whether at the time of the arrest probable cause
existed. The term probable cause is synonymous to
“reasonable cause” and “reasonable grounds.”55

_______________

52  5 Am Jur 2d, p. 688, citing Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 63 L.
Ed. 2d 639, 100 S Ct. 1371.
53  111 SC 174, 97, SE 62, 3 ALR 1500, cited in 5 Am Jur 2d, p. 689.
54  361 U.S. 98, 4 L. Ed. 2d 134, 80 S Ct. 168, cited in 5 Am Jur 2d, p.
688.
55  5 Am Jur 2d, p. 690, citing United States v. Keown, 19 F. Supp. 639
(W.D. Ky. 1937) and Draper v. United States, 358 U.S. 307 (1959).

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364 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

In determining the existence of probable cause, the


arresting officer should make a thorough investigation and
exercise reasonable judgment. The standards for
evaluating the factual basis supporting a probable
cause assessment are not less stringent in
warrantless arrest situation than in a case where a
warrant is sought from a judicial officer. The probable
cause determination of a warrantless arrest is based on
information that the arresting officer possesses at the time
of the arrest and not on the information acquired later.56
In evaluating probable cause, probability and not
certainty is the determinant of reasonableness under the
Fourth Amendment. Probable cause involves probabilities
similar to the factual and practical questions of everyday
life upon which reasonable and prudent persons act. It is a
pragmatic question to be determined in each case in
light of the particular circumstances and the
particular offense involved.57
In determining probable cause, the arresting officer may
rely on all the information in his possession, his fair
inferences therefrom, including his observations. Mere
suspicion does not meet the requirements of showing
probable cause to arrest without warrant especially if it is a
mere general suspicion. Probable cause may rest on
reasonably trust-

_______________

56  5 Am Jur 2d, pp. 691-692, citing Moore v. Marketplace Restaurant,


Inc., 754 F. 2d 1336; Be Vier v. Hucal, (CA7 Ill) 806 F. 2d 123; Whiteley v.
Warden, Wyoming State Penitentiary, 401 U.S. 560; Martin v. Eaton, 140
Vt 134, 436 A. 2d 751; Warren v. Dwyer, 906 F. 2d 70; State v. Kendall,
794 P. 2d 114; People v. Villiard, 679 P. 2d 593; State v. Tarica, 59 Wash
App 368, 798 P. 2d 296; Hill v. California, 401 U.S. 797; United States v.
Bell, 48 F. Supp. 986; Gaudio v. State, 1 Md App 455, 230 A. 2d 700.
57  5 Am Jur 2d, p. 692, citing Hill v. California, 401 U.S. 797, 28 L Ed
2d 484, 91 S Ct 1106; United States v. Bell, 48 F. Supp. 986; People v.
Exum, 382 Ill 204, 47 N. E. 2d 56; Wilson v. Commonwealth, 403 S.W. 2d
705; Gaudio v. State, 1 Md App 455, 230 A. 2d 700.

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worthy information as well as personal


knowledge. Thus, the arresting officer may rely on
information supplied by a witness or a victim of a crime;
and under the circumstances, the arresting officer need not
verify such information.58
In our jurisdiction, the Court has likewise defined
probable cause in the context of Section 5(b), Rule 113 of
the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
In Abelita III v. Doria, et al.,59 the Court held that
personal knowledge of facts must be based on probable
cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds
of suspicion. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when,
in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers, the
suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty
of committing the offense is based on actual facts, i.e.,
supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in
themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the
person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion, therefore,
must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith
on the part of the peace officers making the arrest.
 
i.b) Probable cause under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of
the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure,
distinguished from probable cause in preliminary
investigations and the judicial proceeding for the
issuance of a warrant of arrest
 

_______________

58   5 Am Jur 2d, id., citing Thompson v. State (Del Sup) 539 A. 2d


1052; Ricks v State, 82 Md. App. 369, 571 A. 2d 887, cert gr 320 Md 3505,
578 A. 2d 778 and affd 322 Md 183, 586 A. 2d 740; People v. Tracy, 186
Mich App 171, 46. N.W. 2d 457; State v. Leonard (Utah App) 825 P. 2d
664, 177 Utah Adv Rep 49, cert den (Utah) 843 P. 2d 1042.
59  G.R. No. 170672, August 14, 2009, 596 SCRA 220, 227.

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366 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


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The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to


determine whether a crime has been committed and
whether there is probable cause to believe that the
accused is guilty of the crime and should be held for
trial.60 In Buchanan v. Viuda de Esteban,61 we defined
probable cause as the existence of facts and circumstances
as would excite the belief in a reasonable mind, acting
on the facts within the knowledge of the prosecutor,
that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which
he was prosecuted.
In this particular proceeding, the finding of the
existence of probable cause as to the guilt of the respondent
was based on the submitted documents of the
complainant, the respondent and his witnesses.62
On the other hand, probable cause in judicial
proceedings for the issuance of a warrant of arrest is
defined as the existence of such facts and circumstances
that would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent person
to believe that an offense has been committed by the person
sought to be arrested.
Hence, before issuing a warrant of arrest, the judge
must be satisfied that based on the evidence
submitted, there is sufficient proof that a crime has
been committed and that the person to be arrested is
probably guilty thereof. At this stage of the criminal
proceeding, the judge is not yet tasked to review in detail
the evidence submitted during the preliminary
investigation. It is sufficient

_______________

60   Paderanga v. Drilon, et al., 273 Phil. 290, 296; 196 SCRA 86, 92
(1991).
61  32 Phil. 363, 365 (1915).
62  Section 3, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

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that he personally evaluates the evidence in


determining probable cause63 to issue a warrant of arrest.
In contrast, the arresting officer’s determination of
probable cause under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is based on his
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the
person sought to be arrested has committed the crime.
These facts or circumstances pertain to actual facts or
raw evidence, i.e., supported by circumstances
sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable
cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable
suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause,
coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers
making the arrest.
The probable cause to justify warrantless arrest
ordinarily signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion
supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in
themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that the
person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is
charged,64 or an actual belief or reasonable ground of
suspicion, based on actual facts.65
It is clear therefore that the standard for determining
“probable cause” is invariable for the officer arresting
without a warrant, the public prosecutor, and the judge
issuing a warrant of arrest. It is the existence of such
facts and circumstances that would lead a
reasonably discreet and prudent person to believe
that an offense has been committed by the person
sought to be arrested or held for trial, as the case
may be.
However, while the arresting officer, the public
prosecutor and the judge all determine “probable cause,”
within the spheres of their respective functions, its
existence is influ-

_______________

63  People v. Court of Appeals, 361 Phil. 401, 413; 301 SCRA 475, 486
(1999).
64  People v. Racho, G.R. No. 186529, August 3, 2010, 626 SCRA 633,
642.
65  Supra note 59.

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368 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Pestilos vs. Generoso

enced heavily by the available facts and circumstance


within their possession. In short, although these officers
use the same standard of a reasonable man, they
possess dissimilar quantity of facts or circumstances, as
set by the rules, upon which they must determine
probable cause.
Thus, under the present rules and jurisprudence, the
arresting officer should base his determination of probable
cause on his personal knowledge of facts and circumstances
that the person sought to be arrested has committed the
crime; the public prosecutor and the judge must base their
determination on the evidence submitted by the parties.
In other words, the arresting officer operates on the
basis of more limited facts, evidence or available
information that he must personally gather within a
limited time frame.
Hence, in Santos,66 the Court acknowledged the
inherent limitations of determining probable cause
in warrantless arrests due to the urgency of its
determination in these instances. The Court held that one
should not expect too much of an ordinary policeman. He is
not presumed to exercise the subtle reasoning of a judicial
officer. Oftentimes, he has no opportunity to make proper
investigation but must act in haste on his own belief
to prevent the escape of the criminal.67
 
ii) Second and Third Elements of Section 5(b), Rule
113:
 
The crime has just been committed/personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person
to be arrested has committed it
 
We deem it necessary to combine the discussions of
these two elements as our jurisprudence shows that these
were

_______________

66  Supra note 34.


67  Id.

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usually taken together in the Court’s determination of


the validity of the warrantless arrests that were made
pursuant to Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure.
In Posadas v. Ombudsman,68 the killing of Dennis
Venturina happened on December 8, 1994. It was only on
December 11, 1994 that Chancellor Posadas requested the
NBI’s assistance. On the basis of the supposed
identification of two (2) witnesses, the NBI attempted to
arrest Francis Carlo Taparan and Raymundo Narag three
(3) days after the commission of the crime. With this
set of facts, it cannot be said that the officers have personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the persons
sought to be arrested committed the crime. Hence, the
Court invalidated the warrantless arrest.
Similarly, in People v. Burgos,69 one Cesar Masamlok
personally and voluntarily surrendered to the authorities,
stating that Ruben Burgos forcibly recruited him to become
a member of the NPA, with a threat of physical harm.
Upon receipt of this information, a joint team of PC-INP
units was dispatched to arrest Burgos who was then
plowing the field. Indeed, the arrest was invalid
considering that the only information that the police
officers had in effecting the arrest was the information
from a third person. It cannot be also said in this case that
there was certainty as regards the commission of a crime.
In People v. Del Rosario,70 the Court held that the
requirement that an offense has just been committed
means that there must be a large measure of immediacy
between the time the offense was committed and the time
of the arrest. If there was an appreciable lapse of time
between the arrest and the commission of the crime, a
warrant of arrest must be secured.

_______________

68  G.R. No. 131492, September 29, 2000, 341 SCRA 388.


69  No. L-68995, September 4, 1986, 144 SCRA 1.
70  365 Phil. 292, 312; 305 SCRA 740, 760 (1999).

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370 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso
The Court held that the arrest of del Rosario did not
comply with these requirements because he was arrested
only a day after the commission of the crime and not
immediately thereafter. Additionally, the arresting officers
were not present and were not actual eyewitnesses to the
crime. Hence, they had no personal knowledge of facts
indicating that the person to be arrested had committed
the offense. They became aware of del Rosario’s identity as
the driver of the getaway tricycle only during the custodial
investigation.
In People v. Cendana,71 the accused was arrested one (1)
day after the killing of the victim and only on the basis of
information obtained from unnamed sources. The unlawful
arrest was held invalid.
In Rolito Go v. Court of Appeals,72 the arrest of the
accused six (6) days after the commission of the crime was
held invalid because the crime had not just been
committed. Moreover, the “arresting” officers had no
“personal knowledge” of facts indicating that the accused
was the gunman who had shot the victim. The information
upon which the police acted came from statements made by
alleged eyewitnesses to the shooting; one stated that the
accused was the gunman; another was able to take down
the alleged gunman’s car’s plate number which turned out
to be registered in the name of the accused’s wife. That
information did not constitute “personal knowledge.”
In People v. Tonog, Jr.,73 the warrantless arrest which
was done on the same day was held valid. In this case, the
arresting officer had knowledge of facts which he
personally gathered in the course of his investigation,
indicating that the accused was one of the perpetrators.

_______________

71  268 Phil. 571, 576; 190 SCRA 538, 543 (1990).


72  G.R. No. 101837, February 11, 1992, 206 SCRA 138, 150.
73  G.R. No. 94533, February 4, 1992, 205 SCRA 772, 775 & 778.

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In People v. Gerente,74 the policemen arrested Gerente


only about three (3) hours after Gerente and his
companions had killed the victim. The Court held that the
policemen had personal knowledge of the violent death of
the victim and of facts indicating that Gerente and two
others had killed him. The warrantless arrest was held
valid.
In People v. Alvario,75 the warrantless arrest came
immediately after the arresting officers received
information from the victim of the crime. The Court held
that the personal knowledge of the arresting officers was
derived from the information supplied by the victim herself
who pointed to Alvario as the man who raped her at the
time of his arrest. The Court upheld the warrantless arrest.
In People v. Jayson,76 there was a shooting incident. The
policemen who were summoned to the scene of the crime
found the victim. The informants pointed to the accused as
the assailant only moments after the shooting. The Court
held that the arresting officers acted on the basis of
personal knowledge of the death of the victim and of facts
indicating that the accused was the assailant. Thus, the
warrantless arrest was held valid.
In People v. Acol,77 a group held up the passengers in a
jeepney and the policemen immediately responded to the
report of the crime. One of the victims saw four persons
walking towards Fort Bonifacio, one of whom was wearing
his jacket. The victim pointed them to the policemen. When
the group saw the policemen coming, they ran in different
directions. The Court held that the arrest was valid.
In Cadua v. Court of Appeals,78 there was an initial
report to the police concerning a robbery. A radio dispatch
was then

_______________

74  G.R. Nos. 95847-48, March 10, 1993, 219 SCRA 756, 761.
75  341 Phil. 526, 534, 543; 275 SCRA 529, 542 (1997).
76  346 Phil. 847, 853-854; 282 SCRA 166, 170-171 (1997).
77  232 SCRA 406 (1994).
78  G.R. No. 123123, August 19, 1999, 312 SCRA 703, 717.

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372 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

given to the arresting officers, who proceeded to Alden


Street to verify the authenticity of the radio message.
When they reached the place, they met with the
complainants who initiated the report about the robbery.
Upon the officers’ invitation, the victims joined them in
conducting a search of the nearby area where the accused
was spotted in the vicinity. Based on the reported
statements of the complainants, he was identified as a
logical suspect in the offense just committed. Hence, the
arrest was held valid.
In Doria,79 the Court held that Section 5(b), Rule 113 of
the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure does not require the
arresting officers to personally witness the commission of
the offense.
In this case, P/Supt. Doria alleged that his office
received a telephone call from a relative of Rosa Sia about a
shooting incident. He dispatched a team headed by SPO3
Ramirez to investigate the incident. SPO3 Ramirez later
reported that a certain William Sia was wounded while
Judge Abelita III, who was implicated in the incident, and
his wife just left the place of the incident. P/Supt. Doria
looked for Abelita III and when he found him, he informed
him of the incident report. P/Supt. Doria requested Abelita
III to go with him to the police headquarters as he had
been reported to be involved in the incident. Abelita III
agreed but suddenly sped up his vehicle and proceeded to
his residence where P/Supt. Doria caught him up as he was
about to run towards his house.
The police officers saw a gun in the front seat of the
vehicle beside the driver’s seat as Abelita III opened the
door. They also saw a shotgun at the back of the driver’s
seat. The police officers confiscated the firearms and
arrested Abelita III. The Court held that the petitioner’s
act of trying to get away, coupled with the incident report
which they investigated, were enough to raise a reasonable
suspicion on the part of the police authorities as to the
existence of probable cause.

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79  Supra note 59.

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Based on these discussions, it appears that the Court’s


appreciation of the elements that “the offense has just been
committed” and ‘‘personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances that the person to be arrested committed it”
depended on the particular circumstances of the case.
However, we note that the element of “personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances” under Section 5(b),
Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure
requires clarification.
The phrase covers facts or, in the alternative,
circumstances. According to the Black’s Law Dictionary,80
“circumstances are attendant or accompanying facts, events
or conditions.” Circumstances may pertain to events or
actions within the actual perception, personal evaluation or
observation of the police officer at the scene of the crime.
Thus, even though the police officer has not seen someone
actually fleeing, he could still make a warrantless arrest if,
based on his personal evaluation of the circumstances at
the scene of the crime, he could determine the existence of
probable cause that the person sought to be arrested has
committed the crime. However, the determination of
probable cause and the gathering of facts or circumstances
should be made immediately after the commission of the
crime in order to comply with the element of immediacy.
In other words, the clincher in the element of “personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances” is the required
element of immediacy within which these facts or
circumstances should be gathered. This required time
element acts as a safeguard to ensure that the police
officers have gathered the facts or perceived the
circumstances within a very limited time frame. This
guarantees that the police officers would have no time to
base their probable cause finding on facts or circumstances
obtained after an exhaustive investigation.

_______________

80  Fifth edition, p. 220.

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374 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

The reason for the element of the immediacy is this — as


the time gap from the commission of the crime to the arrest
widens, the pieces of information gathered are prone to
become contaminated and subjected to external factors,
interpretations and hearsay. On the other hand, with the
element of immediacy imposed under Section 5(b), Rule 113
of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the police
officer’s determination of probable cause would necessarily
be limited to raw or uncontaminated facts or
circumstances, gathered as they were within a very limited
period of time. The same provision adds another safeguard
with the requirement of probable cause as the standard for
evaluating these facts of circumstances before the police
officer could effect a valid warrantless arrest.
In light of the discussion above on the developments of
Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure and our jurisprudence on the matter, we hold
that the following must be present for a valid
warrantless arrest: 1) the crime should have been just
committed; and 2) the arresting officer’s exercise of
discretion is limited by the standard of probable cause to be
determined from the facts and circumstances within his
personal knowledge. The requirement of the existence of
probable cause objectifies the reasonableness of the
warrantless arrest for purposes of compliance with the
Constitutional mandate against unreasonable arrests.
Hence, for purposes of resolving the issue on the validity
of the warrantless arrest of the present petitioners, the
question to be resolved is whether the requirements for a
valid warrantless arrest under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure were complied with,
namely: 1) has the crime just been committed when they
were arrested? 2) did the arresting officer have personal
knowledge of facts and circumstances that the petitioners
committed the crime? and 3) based on these facts and
circumstances that the arresting officer possessed at the
time of the petitioners’ arrest, would a reasonably
discreet and prudent person be-
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lieve that the attempted murder of Atty. Generoso


was committed by the petitioners?
We rule in the affirmative.
 
III. Application of Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure in the present
case: there was a valid warrantless arrest
 
We deem it necessary to review the records of the CA
because it has misapprehended the facts in its decision.81
From a review of the records, we conclude that the police
officers had personal knowledge of facts or circumstances
upon which they had properly determined probable cause
in effecting a warrantless arrest against the petitioners.
We note, however, that the determination of the facts in
the present case is purely limited to the resolution of the
issue on the validity of the warrantless arrests of the
petitioners.
Based on the police blotter82 entry taken at 4:15 a.m. on
February 20, 2005, the date that the alleged crime was
committed, the petitioners were brought in for
investigation at the Batasan Hills Police Station. The
police blotter stated that the alleged crime was committed
at 3:15 a.m. on February 20, 2005, along Kasiyahan St.,
Brgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City.
The time of the entry of the complaint in the police
blotter at 4:15 a.m., with Atty. Generoso and the
petitioners already inside the police station, would connote
that the arrest took place less than one hour from the
time of the occurrence of the crime. Hence, the CA finding
that the arrest took place two (2) hours after the
commission of the crime is unfounded.

_______________

81  New City Builders, Inc. v. NLRC, 499 Phil. 207, 212-213; 460 SCRA
220, 227 (2005).
82  Supra note 3.

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376 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

The arresting officers’ personal observation of Atty.


Generoso’s bruises when they arrived at the scene of the
crime is corroborated by the petitioners’ admissions that
Atty. Generoso indeed suffered blows from petitioner
Macapanas and his brother Joseph Macapanas83 although
they asserted that they did it in self-defense against Atty.
Generoso.
Atty. Generoso’s bruises were also corroborated by the
Medico-Legal Certificate84 that was issued by East Avenue
Medical Center on the same date of the alleged mauling.
The medical check-up of Atty. Generoso that was made
about 8:10 a.m. on the date of the incident, showed the
following findings: Contusion Hematoma, Left Frontal
Area; Abrasion, T6 area, right midclavicular line
periorbital hematoma, left eye; Abrasion, distal 3rd
posterolateral aspect of right forearm; Abrasion, 4th and
fifth digit, right hand; Abrasion on area of 7th rib (L ant.
Chest wall), tenderness on L peripheral area, no visible
abrasion. In addition, the attending physician, Dr. Eva P.
Javier, diagnosed Atty. Generoso of contusion hematoma,
periorbital L., and traumatic conjunctivitis, o.s.
To summarize, the arresting officers went to the scene of
the crime upon the complaint of Atty. Generoso of his
alleged mauling; the police officers responded to the scene
of the crime less than one (1) hour after the alleged
mauling; the alleged crime transpired in a community
where Atty. Generoso and the petitioners reside; Atty.
Generoso positively identified the petitioners as those
responsible for his mauling and, notably, the petitioners85
and Atty. Gene-

_______________

83  Rollo, pp. 73-74.


84   Issued by the Medico-Legal Officer, Dr. Charlton S. Sibal, M.D.;
RTC Records, p. 7.
85   Joey Pestilos then resided at Block 1, Lot 6, Don Primitivo
Extension, Brgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City; Dwight Macapanas then
resided at No. 24 Kasiyahan St., Brgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City; Miguel
Gaces then resided at No. 13, Kasiyahan St., Brgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon
City; Jerry Fernandez resided at No. 16, Kasiyahan St., Brgy. Holy Spirit,
Quezon City; Ronald Muñoz then resided at

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roso86 lived almost in the same neighborhood; more


importantly, when the petitioners were confronted by the
arresting officers, they did not deny their participation in
the incident with Atty. Generoso, although they narrated a
different version of what transpired.87
With these facts and circumstances that the police
officers gathered and which they have personally observed
less than one hour from the time that they have arrived
at the scene of the crime until the time of the arrest of the
petitioners, we deem it reasonable to conclude that the
police officers had personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances justifying the petitioners’ warrantless
arrests. These circumstances were well within then police
officers’ observation, perception and evaluation at the time
of the arrest. These circumstances qualify as the police
officers’ personal observation, which are within their
personal knowledge, prompting them to make the
warrantless arrests.
Similar to the factual antecedents in Jayson,88 the police
officers in the present case saw Atty. Generoso in his sorry
bloodied state. As the victim, he positively identified the
petitioners as the persons who mauled him; however,
instead of fleeing like what happened in Jayson, the
petitioners agreed to go with the police officers.
This is also similar to what happened in People v. Tonog,
Jr.89 where Tonog did not flee but voluntarily went with
the police officers. More than this, the petitioners in the
present case even admitted to have been involved in the
incident with

_______________

No. 15, Kasiyahan St., Brgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City; RTC records, p.
4.
86   Atty. Generoso then resided at No. 16 Kasiyahan St., Brgy. Holy
Spirit, Quezon City per the referral letter of the Police Inspector to the
City Prosecutor, dated February 20, 2005; id.
87  Rollo, p. 75.
88  Supra note 76.
89  G.R. No. 144497, June 29, 2004, 433 SCRA 139.

378

378 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

Atty. Generoso, although they had another version of


what transpired.
  In determining the reasonableness of the warrantless
arrests, it is incumbent upon the courts to consider if the
police officers have complied with the requirements set
under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, specifically, the requirement of
immediacy; the police officer’s personal knowledge of facts
or circumstances; and lastly, the propriety of the
determination of probable cause that the person sought to
be arrested committed the crime.
The records show that soon after the report of the
incident occurred, SPO1 Monsalve immediately dispatched
the arresting officer, SPO2 Javier, to render personal
assistance to the victim.90 This fact alone negates the
petitioners’ argument that the police officers did not have
personal knowledge that a crime had been committed —
the police immediately responded and had personal
knowledge that a crime had been committed.
To reiterate, personal knowledge of a crime just
committed under the terms of the above cited provision,
does not require actual presence at the scene while a crime
was being committed; it is enough that evidence of the
recent commission of the crime is patent (as in this case)
and the police officer has probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the
person to be arrested has recently committed the crime.
Considering the circumstances of the stabbing,
particularly the locality where it took place, its occasion,
the personal circumstances of the parties, and the
immediate on-the-spot investigation that took place, the
immediate and warrantless arrests of the perpetrators
were proper. Consequently, the inquest proceeding that the
City Prosecutor conducted was appropriate under the
circumstances.

_______________

90  Rollo, p. 40.

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IV. The term “invited” in the Affidavit of Arrest is


construed to mean as an authoritative command
 
After the resolution of the validity of the warrantless
arrest, the discussion of the petitioners’ second issue is
largely academic. Arrest is defined as the taking of a
person into custody in order that he may be bound to
answer for the commission of an offense. An arrest is made
by an actual restraint of the person to be arrested, or by his
submission to the custody of the person making the
arrest.91 Thus, application of actual force, manual touching
of the body, physical restraint or a formal declaration of
arrest is not required. It is enough that there be an
intention on the part of one of the parties to arrest the
other and the intent of the other to submit, under the belief
and impression that mission is necessary.92
Notwithstanding the term “invited” in the Affidavit of
Arrest,93 SPO2 Javier could not but have the intention of
arresting the petitioners following Atty. Generoso’s
account. SPO2 Javier did not need to apply violent physical
restraint when a simple directive to the petitioners to
follow him to the police
_______________

91  Rule 113, Section 2 of the Revised Rules of Court.


92  Sanchez v. Demetriou, G.R. Nos. 111771-77, November 9, 1993, 227
SCRA 627, 637-638; see also People v. Milado, 462 Phil. 411, 417; 417
SCRA 16, 19 (2003).
93  The pertinent portion of the Affidavit of Arrest states:
That, immediately we proceeded at the said place and upon arrival
complainant appeared complained and pointed to the undersigned to
suspects [Joey] Pestilos, Dwight Macapanas, Miguel Gaces[,] Jerry
Fernandez and Ronald Muñoz at (sic) those who mauled him.
That, I informed all the suspects of the charges imputed [against] them
by complainant Atty. Generoso then invited them to Batasan Police
Station for Investigation x x x” (Emphasis ours)

380

380 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

station would produce a similar effect. In other words,


the application of actual force would only be an alternative
if the petitioners had exhibited resistance.
To be sure, after a crime had just been committed and
the attending policemen have acquired personal knowledge
of the incidents of the crime, including the alleged
perpetrators, the arrest of the petitioners as the
perpetrators pointed to by the victim, was not a mere
random act but was in connection with a particular offense.
Furthermore, SPO2 Javier had informed the petitioners, at
the time of their arrest, of the charges against them before
taking them to Batasan Hills Police Station for
investigation.94
 
V. The Order denying the motion for preliminary
investigation is valid
 
In their last ditch attempt at avoidance, the petitioners
attack the RTC Order denying the petitioners’ urgent
motion for regular preliminary investigation for allegedly
having been issued in violation of Article VIII, Section 14 of
the 1987 Constitution95 and Rule 16, Section 3 of the
Revised Rules of Court.96
The RTC, in its Order dismissing the motion, clearly
states that the Court is not persuaded by the evidentiary
nature of the allegations in the said motion of the accused.
Aside from lack of clear and convincing proof, the Court, in
the exercise of
_______________

94  Rollo, p. 41.
95   Sec. 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court without
expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it
is based.
No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a decision of the
court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the legal basis
therefor.
96   SEC. 3. Resolution of motion.—After the hearing, the court
may dismiss the action or claim, deny the motion, or order the amendment
of the pleading.

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its sound discretion on the matter, is legally bound to


pursue and hereby gives preference to the speedy disposition
of the case.
We do not see any taint of impropriety or grave abuse of
discretion in this Order. The RTC, in resolving the motion,
is not required to state all the facts found in the record of
the case. Detailed evidentiary matters, as the RTC decreed,
is best reserved for the full-blown trial of the case, not in
the preliminary incidents leading up to the trial.
Additionally, no less than the Constitution itself
provides that it is the decision that should state clearly
and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based.
In resolving a motion, the court is only required to state
clearly and distinctly the reasons therefor. A contrary
system would only prolong the proceedings, which was
precisely what happened to this case. Hence, we uphold the
validity of the RTC’s order as it correctly stated the reason
for its denial of the petitioners’ Urgent Motion for Regular
Preliminary Investigation.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we hereby DENY
the petition, and hereby AFFIRM the decision dated
January 21, 2008 and the resolution dated April 17, 2008 of
the Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. S.P. No. 91541. The City
Prosecutor of Quezon City is hereby ORDERED to proceed
with the criminal proceedings against the petitioners.
SO ORDERED.

Carpio (Chairperson), Del Castillo and Mendoza, JJ.,


concur.
Leonen, J., I dissent. See Separate Opinion.
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382 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

DISSENTING OPINION
 
LEONEN, J.:
 
I regret that I cannot bring myself to agree that the
warrantless arrest was valid.
To review, the facts as established are as follows:
Both petitioners and respondent are residents of
Kasiyahan Street, Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City.1
On February 20, 2005, at around 3:00 to 3:15 a.m.,
petitioners Joey M. Pestilos (Pestilos), Dwight Macapanas
(Macapanas), Miguel Gaces (Gaces), Jerry Hernandez
(Hernandez), and Ronald Muñoz (Muñoz), and respondent
Atty. Moreno Generoso (Atty. Generoso) were waiting for
the water supply on Kasiyahan Street. Pestilos and
Macapanas got into an altercation with Atty. Generoso that
involved physical violence. Immediately after the incident,
Pestilos and Macapanas went to the barangay hall to seek
help from the local barangay officials.2
At the barangay hall, Pestilos reported the incident and
wanted to have it inscribed in the barangay blotter. The
barangay tanod advised them to secure a medical
certificate first before Pestilos and Macapanas could
register their complaint in the barangay blotter.3 Pestilos
and Macapanas requested the barangay tanod to
accompany them on their way back to their residences on
Kasiyahan Street, “to avoid further trouble.”4
At around 5:30 a.m., Pestilos and Macapanas arrived
with the barangay tanod on Kasiyahan Street. By then,
officers from Batasan Hills Police Station were present.
Atty. Gen-

_______________

1  Rollo, p. 51.
2  Id., at pp. 6-9.
3  Id., at pp. 9 and 49.
4  Id., at p. 49.

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eroso pointed to Pestilos and Macapanas as perpetrators


of his alleged mauling.5 The two began complaining about
Atty. Generoso’s attack against them. The police officers,
led by SPO2 Dominador Javier (SPO2 Javier), brought
Pestilos, Macapanas, and Atty. Generoso to the police
station. The other petitioners, Gaces, Hernandez, and
Muñoz, were brought by Pestilos and Macapanas to act as
their witnesses.
Macapanas left the police station for a while to get a
medical certificate from the East Avenue Medical Center,
as advised by the barangay tanod earlier.6 Meanwhile, at
the police station, Atty. Generoso filed charges against all
petitioners (Pestilos, Macapanas, Gaces, Hernandez, and
Muñoz) for frustrated murder.7
Macapanas also filed charges against Atty. Generoso for
slight physical injuries.8 The police officers in the Batasan
Hills Police Station rendered reports for both charges. In
addition to the reports, SPO2 Javier executed an affidavit
of arrest with respect to petitioners.9
At the Office of the Prosecutor, the prosecutor subjected
all the petitioners to inquest, while the complaint against
Atty. Generoso was treated as a case subject to preliminary
investigation.10
Two days after the incident, the prosecutor filed an
information against petitioners for attempted murder.11
Before arraignment, petitioners filed an urgent motion
for regular preliminary investigation. However, the
Regional

_______________

5   RTC Records, p. 6, as stated in the affidavit of arrest.


6   Rollo, p. 50.
7   Id., at p. 158.
8   Id., at p. 51.
9   RTC Records, p. 6.
10  CA Rollo, pp. 98-100, and RTC Records, p. 2.
11  RTC Records, pp. 1-2.

384

384 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

 
 
Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 96, denied the
motion.12 They filed a motion for reconsideration, but the
motion was denied.13
On appeal via Rule 65, the Court of Appeals sustained
the order of the Regional Trial Court:

WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari is hereby


DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.14

 
The Court of Appeals denied petitioners’ motion for
reconsideration in the resolution dated April 17, 2008.15
They came to this court via a petition for review on
certiorari. They argue that they are entitled to preliminary
investigation. Subjecting them to inquest proceedings was
irregular because they were not properly arrested.
Assuming that their decision to go to the police station was
an “arrest,” the arrest was invalid because it was not made
in compliance with the rule on warrantless arrests.
I vote that the petition be granted. Petitioners are
entitled to a preliminary investigation because the
warrantless arrest was not valid.
The right of a person to his or her liberties in the form of
protections against unreasonable searches and seizures
enjoys a high degree of protection.16 The Constitution only
allows for reasonable searches and seizures. As a general
rule, courts

_______________

12  Id., at p. 59. The order was dated March 16, 2005 rendered by
Presiding Judge Afable E. Cajigal.
13  Rollo, p. 67.
14  Id., at pp. 35-46. The decision in C.A.-G.R. S.P. No. 91541 dated
January 21, 2008 was penned by Associate Justice Sesinando E. Villon
and concurred in by Associate Justices Martin S. Villarama, Jr. (now a
member of this court) and Noel G. Tijam of the Fifth Division of the Court
of Appeals.
15  Rollo, pp. 47-48.
16  Const., Art. III, Sec. 2.

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Pestilos vs. Generoso
decide whether there is probable cause to issue a search
warrant or warrant of arrest. In People v. Burgos,17 this
court stated that:

The right of a person to be secure against any unreasonable


seizure of his body and any deprivation of his liberty is a most
basic and fundamental one. The statute or rule which allows
exceptions to the requirement of warrants of arrest is strictly
construed. Any exception must clearly fall within the situations
when securing a warrant would be absurd or is manifestly
unnecessary as provided by the Rule. We cannot liberally
construe the rule on arrests without warrant or extend its
application beyond the cases specifically provided by law. To do so
would infringe upon personal liberty and set back a basic right so
often violated and so deserving of full protection.18 (Emphasis
supplied)

 
The limited circumstances for the conduct of reasonable
warrantless arrests are enumerated in Rule 113, Section 5
of the Rules of Court.

SEC. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful.—A peace


officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an
offense;
(b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has
probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it;
and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has
escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving
final judgment or temporarily con-

_______________

17  228 Phil. 1; 144 SCRA 1 (1986) [Per J. Gutierrez, Jr., Second
Division].
18  Id., at p. 15; p. 14.

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fined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being


transferred from one confinement to another.
In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, the person
arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the
nearest police station or jail, and he shall be proceeded against in
accordance with Rule 12, Section 7.

 
This case does not fall under the first and third
exceptions. The question is whether this falls under the
special circumstances of Section 5(b) of Rule 113 of the
Rules of Court.
The elements of a valid warrantless arrest under Rule
113, Section 5(b) are the following: (1) the offense has just
been committed; (2) the arresting officer has personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances; and (3) these facts and
circumstances give rise to probable cause that the person to
be arrested has committed the offense.
The first element requires that there are facts leading to
a conclusion that an offense has been committed. Being
based on objectivity, the first element requires the
occurrence of facts that, when taken together, constitutes
the commission of an offense.
If we accepted the version of Atty. Generoso, it appears
that he was a victim of an attack from petitioners. The
facts that he narrated may, thus, constitute the possible
offenses of physical injuries or even attempted or
frustrated homicide or murder. The offense should be
evaluated from the facts and circumstances as it appeared
to the person making the warrantless arrest.
The element that the offense had “just been committed”
was introduced in the 1985 revision of the Rules of
Criminal Procedure. This element must be read in relation
to the general requirement that a warrant of arrest must
be procured to ensure a more impartial determination of
the existence of facts and circumstances. This element,
however, acknowledges the necessities of law enforcement.
At times, the police
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officer arrives at the scene of the crime after the crime


just happened and there are facts and circumstances —
such as the sudden flight of a person or the wielding of a
weapon by a person near the incident — that reasonably
lead the police officer to believe that the person is the
perpetrator. In such cases, to ensure that the right person
can be put within the jurisdiction of a court, the rules allow
a valid warrantless arrest.
This necessity is wanting in this case. Petitioners
themselves, together with a barangay tanod, voluntarily
went to the police station. They did so after they had gone
to the barangay hall to report the incident and had their
own complaints entered into the barangay blotter.
There was no urgency to arrest petitioners. They were
not planning to flee. They voluntarily presented themselves
as complainants against private respondent. For reasons
not clear in the record, they were subjected to a
warrantless arrest and then to inquest. Private respondent,
on the other hand, was allowed to be a respondent in a
preliminary investigation. He was not arrested.
Several cases qualified the time element of “just been
committed” to range from three (3) hours19 to 14 days.20
This is not the correct approach.
In Re: Petition for Habeas Corpus of Laurente C.
Ilagan21 and Umil v. Ramos,22 cited by the majority, were
decided under the dark days of Martial Law. The dissents
in those cases were clarion calls for the protection of our
liberties.

_______________

19  People v. Gerente, G.R. Nos. 95847-48, March 10, 1993, 219 SCRA
756 (1993) [Per J. Griño-Aquino, First Division].
20  Umil v. Ramos, 279 Phil. 266; 202 SCRA 251 (1991) [Per Curiam, En
Banc].
21  223 Phil. 561; 139 SCRA 349 (1985) [Per J. Melencio-Herrera, En
Banc].
22  Supra note 20.

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388 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


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Former Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee, in his dissent


in In Re: Ilagan, was of the opinion that “just been
committed” “connotes immediacy in point of time.”23
Former Associate Justice Florenz Regalado24 emphasized
the requirement of immediacy:

The brevity in the interval of time between the commission of


the crime and the arrest, as now required by Section 5(b), must
have been dictated by the consideration, among others, that by
reason of such recency of the criminal occurrence, the probability
of the arresting officer acquiring personal and/or reliable
knowledge of such fact and the identity of the offender is
necessarily enhanced, if not assured. The longer the interval, the
more attenuated are the chances of his obtaining such verifiable
knowledge.25

 
In the same case, Associate Justice Florentino Feliciano
illustrated how a hot pursuit warrantless arrest should be
made:

Turning to Section 5(b), two (2) elements must coincide before


a warrantless arrest may be sustained under this subsection: 1)
the offense must have “just been committed” when the arresting
officer arrived in the scene; and 2) the officer must have “personal
knowledge” of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has
committed the offense. In somewhat different terms, the first
requirement imports that the effects or corpus of the offense
which has just been committed are still visible: e.g., a person
sprawled on the ground, dead of a gunshot wound; or a person
staggering around bleeding profusely from stab wounds. The
arresting officer may not have seen the

_______________

23  J. Teehankee, dissenting opinion in In Re: Petition for Habeas


Corpus of Laurente C. Ilagan, supra note 21 at p. 622; p. 408.
24  Supra note 20.
25  J. Regalado, dissenting opinion in Umil v. Ramos, supra note 20 at
p. 312; p. 296.

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actual shooting or stabbing of the victim, and therefore the


offense can not be said to have been committed “in [his] presence.”
The requirement of “personal knowledge” on the part of
the arresting officer is a requirement that such knowledge
must have been obtained directly from sense perception
by the arresting officer. That requirement would exclude
information conveyed by another person, no matter what his
reputation for truth and reliability might be. Thus, where the
arresting officer comes upon a person dead on the street and sees a
person running away with a knife from where the victim is
sprawled on the ground, he has personal knowledge of facts which
rendered it highly probable that the person fleeing was the doer of
the criminal deed. The arresting officer must, in other words,
perceive through his own senses some act which directly connects
the person to be arrested with the visible effects or corpus of a
crime which has “just been committed.”26 (Emphasis supplied)

 
The second element under Rule 113, Section 5(b) is that
the arresting officer has personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances. Personal knowledge is “derived from the
[person’s] own perception.”27
On the other hand, information not of personal
knowledge is hearsay. Hearsay is “evidence not of what the
witness knows himself but of what he has heard from
others.”28
The arresting officers must obtain personal knowledge of
the facts and circumstances that lead to the conclusion that
an offense has just been committed. They must also
perceive facts and circumstances that would substantiate
the probable liability of the person. The accused is usually
identified when

_______________

26  J. Feliciano, dissenting opinion in Umil v. Ramos, supra note 20 at


pp. 325-326; p. 289.
27  Rules of Court, Rule 130, Sec. 36.
28  People v. Manhuyod, 352 Phil. 866, 880; 290 SCRA 257, 270; (1998)
[Per J. Davide, Jr., En Banc].

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390 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


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he or she is seen fleeing the scene because the act of


fleeing suggests the attempt to evade authority. A person
in possession of a weapon could also be perceived as the one
liable for an offense.
There must be a reasonable amount of facts short of
seeing the entire offense being committed. A collection of
facts, on the other hand, is a set of circumstances. If the
arresting officer saw facts and circumstances indicating
that an offense has just been committed and the person is
probably liable for that offense, a warrantless arrest is
justified under Rule 113, Section 5(b). If the arresting
officer saw the offense being committed, then the
warrantless arrest will be justified under Rule 113, Section
5(a), not under subsection (b).
Facts or circumstances relating to the nature of the
offense cannot substitute for personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances relating to the liability of the person who
probably committed the offense. One pertains to the object
and the other the method of perception.
SPO2 Javier had personal knowledge of the injuries of
private respondent. This is only personal knowledge with
respect to the offense, not yet as to the identity of the
perpetrators.
On the other hand, the information obtained by the
police officers when private respondent pointed to
petitioners as the perpetrators of the crime was hearsay.
Private respondent’s act of pointing to petitioners
communicated that petitioners committed the mauling. It
becomes hearsay on the part of the police officers who did
not see petitioners mauling private respondent. The only
personal knowledge obtained by the police officers was that
private respondent pointed to petitioners.
According to petitioners, they returned to the crime
scene and saw the police officers. They also informed the
police officers that private respondent attacked them. That
is another hearsay received by the police officers at the
crime scene.
 
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The police officers perceived limited facts while


investigating at the crime scene. These limited facts do not
provide sufficient bases for the liability of anyone at the
scene. No one was reported holding a weapon allegedly
used against private respondent. None of the petitioners
fled at the sight of the police officers.
There were only facts relating to the offense, such as the
sight of an injured private respondent. This fact cannot
substitute for the personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances relating to the liability of petitioners.
Parenthetically, the police officers also had hearsay
knowledge that private respondent was the perpetrator
against petitioners. For reasons not clear in the records,
however, the police officers preferred not to arrest him.
The third element requires that these facts and
circumstances must lead to the conclusion that there is
probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested
committed the offense. Rule 113, Section 5(b) requires that
“probable cause” or “actual belief or reasonable grounds of
suspicion” must be supported by personal knowledge of
facts or circumstances that, when taken together, builds
the suspicion that an individual committed the offense.
The plurality in the phrasing suggests that there should
be more than one fact or circumstance. In People v.
Cogaed,29 we ruled that for there to be a “genuine reason”
to execute a warrantless arrest or search, there should be
more than one suspicious circumstance to infer that there
was criminal activity.30
In most cases that found the validity of the warrantless
arrest, there was the presence of more than one
circumstance

_______________

29  G.R. No. 200334, July 30, 2014, 731 SCRA 427 [Per J. Leonen,
Third Division].
30  Id.

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392 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

that formed part of the personal knowledge of the police


officers.
In People v. Jayson,31 police officers were summoned
immediately to the crime scene. They found the victim, and
saw the accused fleeing. These are two facts that show that
the offense was committed and that the person arrested
was probably responsible because he attempted to escape.
In People v. Tonog, Jr.,32 there was a murder. Police
officers at the crime scene saw the following: the body of
the victim and a motorcab that was driven by Tonog that
day. Tonog voluntarily went to the police station, and one
of the police officers noticed that he had blood splatters on
his jeans. All three facts and circumstances were observed
by the police officers during the arrest, thereby building the
probable cause that Tonog committed the murder.33
On the other hand, this court ruled that there are
instances when there is no personal knowledge of the police
officers; hence, there is no valid warrantless arrest.
In People v. Burgos,34 a source informed the police
officers that Ruben Burgos was engaged in subversive
activities. This court held that the report was not enough to
enact a warrantless arrest under Rule 113, Section 5(b),
especially since there were no facts personally known to the
police officers that a crime was committed.

_______________

31  346 Phil. 847; 282 SCRA 166 (1997) [Per J. Mendoza, Second
Division].
32  G.R. No. 144497, June 29, 2004, 433 SCRA 139 [Per J. Callejo, Sr.,
Second Division].
33  The issue of warrantless arrest was not ruled upon in this case.
However, Posadas v. Ombudsman, 395 Phil. 601; 341 SCRA 388 (2000)
[Per J. Mendoza, Second Division] used this case to show the
circumstances surrounding the warrantless arrest that led to the arrest’s
validity.
34  Supra note 17.

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In Posadas v. Ombudsman,35 the National Bureau of


Investigation officers arrested two students identified by
witnesses as the perpetrators of a killing during a
fraternity rumble. The arrest was made without a warrant,
and this court declared the warrantless arrest invalid.
Rule 113, Section 5(b) did not apply in People v.
Briones36 where the accused was arrested after one
eyewitness had identified him as the murderer. This court
declared that the warrantless arrest was invalid “because
the police officer who effected the arrest indubitably had no
personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be
arrested has committed the crime. It is [the] eyewitness . . .
who had such personal knowledge.”37
Jurisprudence often repeats the doctrine summarized in
Umil v. Ramos:38

It has been ruled that “personal knowledge of facts,” in arrests


without warrant must be based upon probable cause, which
means an actual belief or reasonable ground of suspicion.
The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the absence
of actual belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the
person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense,
is based on actual facts, i.e., supported by circumstances
sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of
guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion
therefore must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good
faith on the part of the peace officers making the arrest.39
(Citations omitted)

_______________

35  395 Phil. 601; 341 SCRA 388 (2000) [Per J. Mendoza, Second
Division].
36  279 Phil. 776; 202 SCRA 708 (1991) [Per J. Paras, Second Division].
37  Id., at p. 787; p. 718.
38  Supra note 20.
39  Id., at pp. 295-296; p. 263.

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394 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Pestilos vs. Generoso

The confusion with this treatment is that it qualifies


personal knowledge with probable cause, not the other way
around. The rule states that “probable cause . . . [is] based
on personal knowledge of facts and circumstances.”40 It
does not state personal knowledge of facts based on
probable cause or reasonable suspicion. The import of the
text is that reasonable suspicion and probable cause is built
by personal knowledge of facts and circumstances. Personal
knowledge is the method of perceiving facts. Probable cause
is the conclusion of all the facts so perceived.
Flight of the accused is often a sign that there is
probable cause that he or she committed the offense. When
he or she attempts to escape from authorities, the
authorities must act immediately because not doing so
might compromise the investigation.
If there is no personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances on the part of the police officers, a
warrantless arrest under Rule 113, Section 5(b) will be
unreasonable because there is nothing to base probable
cause on that the accused committed the offense.
Here, there was no flight of the accused. On the
contrary, petitioners returned to the crime scene41 because
they felt that they were the victims, not the perpetrators.
The police officers were still investigating the matter
when petitioners were brought to the police station. The
circumstances of the situation did not call for an exception
to the rule requiring a warrant of arrest. The statement
made by private respondent on the identity of his
perpetrators, as communicated to the police, could have
been reduced to an
_______________

40  Rules of Court, Rule 113, Sec. 5(b).


41  Rollo, p. 49. In the joint-affidavit of the barangay officials, they
stated that petitioners requested them “to accompany [Pestilos and
Macapanas] to their place for fear that Atty. Generoso might still be
looking for them. To avoid further trouble, we brought them back to
Kasiyahan Street on board the Barangay vehicle.”

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affidavit used to support an application for a warrant of


arrest. The statements made by petitioners were other
pieces of evidence to be considered for the issuance of a
warrant of arrest.
The police officers were not threatened by the immediate
flight of the alleged perpetrators who believed that they
also have a right to vindicate since they were cooperating
with the police. All facts point to the reasonability of
obtaining a warrant of arrest. There was no exigency to
cause the warrantless arrest of petitioners.
It bears stressing that petitioners went with the police
officers in their capacity as complainants against private
respondent. They did not know that they were already
being arrested. To their mind, the police officers just
wanted to continue the investigation at the police station.
This is shown by the police report dated February 20, 2005
regarding the complaint of petitioner Macapanas against
private respondent Atty. Generoso. In this report,
petitioner Macapanas was the complainant, and private
respondent Atty. Generoso was the accused. To wit:

It is worthy to mentioned [sic] that complainant voluntarily


[sic] appeared to this Station wherein he was identified by
complainant at [sic] the one who punched him(,) which also
causing [sic] him to be bitten (by) a dog thereat.42

 
The existence of two police reports for two separate
crimes committed during one incident — one with
petitioners as accused43 and the other with private
respondent as accused44 — proves that at the time that
petitioners were taken into custody, the police officers were
still uncertain about what
_______________

42  Id., at p. 51.


43  Id., at p. 158.
44  Id., at p. 51.

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396 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


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happened. This negates the presence of probable cause,


required by Rule 113, Section 5(b).
Probable cause must exist at the time of the warrantless
arrest. Otherwise, any form of uncertainty should be
resolved through the exercise of judicial caution.
When the police officers became more convinced that
private respondent’s version was more believable than
petitioners’, the police officers should have applied for a
warrant of arrest. SPO2 Javier expedited procedure when
he executed an affidavit of arrest. He made it appear that
there was a valid warrantless arrest, instead of applying
for a warrant of arrest. This is unacceptable in our
Constitution.
Strict standards should be imposed on law enforcement.
It is said that “the prosecution can bring the full resources
of the state to bear on winning. Imposing a heavy burden of
proof on the prosecution diminishes this advantage.”45
Relaxing our standards in taking individuals under
custody enhances the advantage of the prosecution, to the
detriment of the individual. Compared to the state, the
accused does not have the resources to question the
legitimacy of an arrest. Some of them do not even know
that they are already being arrested. Many arrested
individuals may not even be able to afford lawyers until the
public attorney steps in during custodial investigation or,
worse, during arraignment. By then, the accused would
have already been deprived of his or her liberty.
The circumstances of this case require the vigilance of
this court in protecting the neglected rights of petitioners.
Petitioners were just in their 20s when the altercation
occurred. Pestilos was a student, Macapanas and Muñoz
were unemployed, Gaces was a driver, and Fernandez was
a printing

_______________

45  R. Cooter and T. Ulen, Law and Economics, p. 450 (2004).


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press operator. Petitioners have been certified as


indigents.46 They are of limited means. At the time that
they were trying to vindicate their rights at the police
station, they did not have counsel.
On the other hand, it is easier for the police officers to be
persuaded by private respondent, a member of the bar who
is fully aware of his constitutional rights. The police
officers became more inclined to believe his story because
he is a lawyer, while petitioners were all nonlawyers.
Petitioners were not expected to know that a detention
was an arrest. The affidavit of arrest stated that SPO2
Javier “informed all the suspects of the charges imputed
against them by complainant Atty. Generoso.”47 To an
ordinary citizen, they were just complaints. An invitation is
really just an invitation for petitioners. They did not go to
the police station because they were being arrested.
With the absence of a valid warrantless arrest,
petitioners are entitled to preliminary investigation.
Preliminary investigation is “an inquiry or a proceeding the
purpose of which is to determine whether there is sufficient
ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has
been committed and the respondent is probably guilty
thereof, and should be held for trial.”48 The right to
preliminary investigation is statutory in character.49 Being
mandated by statute, a preliminary investigation becomes
part of the constitutional due process rights accorded to the
accused.50

_______________

46  RTC Records, pp. 17-21.


47  Id., at p. 6.
48  Rules of Court, Rule 112, Sec. 1.
49  Marinas v. Siochi, 191 Phil. 698, 718; 104 SCRA 423, 438 (1981)
[Per J. Melencio-Herrera, En Banc].
50  Duterte v. Sandiganbayan, 352 Phil. 557, 576; 289 SCRA 721, 741
(1998) [Per J. Kapunan, Third Division].

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Pestilos vs. Generoso
Under Rule 112, a preliminary investigation is required
if an offense has a penalty of at least four (4) years, two (2)
months, and one (1) day. However, under Section 6 of the
same rules, a preliminary investigation is no longer
necessary if the person accused was arrested lawfully
without a warrant. If there was a valid warrantless arrest
under Rule 113, Section 5, inquest proceedings are
required.
Based on the Manual for Prosecutors, inquests are
conducted by a public prosecutor assigned as an Inquest
Officer. An inquest is conducted only at the police stations
or headquarters of the Philippine National Police, unless
otherwise directed.51
Here, petitioners alleged that they were brought from
Batasan Hills Police Station to the Office of the Prosecutor.
At the Office of the Prosecutor, it was decided that
petitioners would be subjected to inquest, while respondent
would undergo preliminary investigation. This irregularly
conducted inquest aggravates the fact that petitioners were
subjected to an inquest despite lack of a valid warrantless
arrest.
Considering that petitioners were not arrested in
accordance with the strict guidelines of our Constitution
and the Rules of Court, petitioners’ statutory right to
preliminary investigation is mandatory.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition should be GRANTED.

Petition denied, judgment and resolution affirmed.

Notes.—A valid warrantless arrest which justifies a


subsequent search is one that is carried out under the
parameters of Section 5(a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Court
which requires that the apprehending officer must have
been spurred by probable cause to arrest a person caught
in flagrante delicto. (Martinez vs. People, 690 SCRA 656
[2013])

_______________

51  Manual for Prosecutors, Part II, Sec. 2, last paragraph.

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Pestilos vs. Generoso
Having established the validity of the warrantless arrest
in this case, the Supreme Court holds that the warrantless
seizure of the illegal drugs from the appellant is likewise
valid. (People vs. Vasquez, 714 SCRA 78 [2014])
——o0o——

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